He may have lost his zest for coaching, but Phil Jackson still loves needling his opponents. While discussing Carmelo Anthony potentially accepting a paycut this summer to help build a winner in New York, the Zen Master fired a thinly-veiled shot at his old rivals from San Antonio. Per Newsday and the Express-News:
“Tim Duncan making the salary he’s making after being part of a dynasty – not a dynasty, I wouldn’t call San Antonio a dynasty — a force, a great force,” Jackson said. “They haven’t been able to win consecutive championships but they’ve always been there. San Antonio has had a wonderful run through Tim’s tenure there as a player. He’s agreed to take a salary cut so other players can play with him so they can be this good. And that’s the beginning of team play.”
Jackson guided the Lakers to five titles – a three-peat and one back-to-back – in 11 seasons as coach. They beat the Spurs four times in the playoffs under Jackson and were beaten once by San Antonio.
The Spurs have won four titles since 1999, almost won their fifth last season and had the best record in the NBA this season.
It’s probably a matter of semantics. The Spurs never even reached the Finals after winning a championship, let alone defending their title. But they’ve also engineered the most successful 17-year stretch in NBA history with a winning percentage of 70.6 and 15 straight seasons with at least 50 victories.